Man’s soul and spirit are of divine essence, and in the higher realms to which they belong, they know each other and manifest themselves as such. But they also must learn to know and manifest themselves below, through matter, that is to say, through the physical body.
This is the greatest mystery of human existence.
It is symbolized by the snake swallowing its tail: the head is the higher Self, the spirit; and the tail is the lower Self, matter.
The head swallows the tail, which means that the spirit works on matter to fashion it and manifest itself through it. The all-powerful, omniscient spirit on high must be able to see itself in matter as in a mirror.
This is the goal of initiation: to transform matter so that it can reflect back the image of the spirit.